Can you hear me, Josephine?

Can you hear me, Josephine?

Or does my voice melt into the gloaming,

A whisper against the blackening trees. Remember,

It was you who asked me to come. Deep in the dark.

It was for you that I stretched out my young body,

Bit my lips and rouged my plump cheeks.

How soft they were, those cheeks. Like ripe fruit.

You could’ve sunk your teeth into them.

That black dress that clung slick to my hips

Like a seal pelt, slippery under your hands.

Under their hands. I used to watch it, tatters

And rags, like the wings of a raven as it fluttered

High in the grasp of the tree. Even that, now, is gone.

Can you hear me, Josephine? The woods are dark,

And the cold never leaves my bones,

Which now lie quite clean and white,

Bright in the light of the moon.

It was a strange place for a party, Josephine.

Bars steam and are full of eyes, eyes that can follow

You around the room, where you are, to your car.

There are different eyes in the woods. They gleam

And glimmer, their sharp gaze clanging against the metal

In their fists and the shimmer of my hips. Clanged.

Did you cry when I died? I certainly did. Death

Is the present that I brought to your party in the woods,

Wrapped up tight with a red bow and a length of black hair.

It was a kiss that I had hoped to give with my cherry lips.

And I am sure that the lights flashed prettily,

As your faces opened and closed to the siren’s wail.

Slippery with rum and sweat, your hot little mouths

Falling slackly open with a clack and a scream.

I thought I saw you once, your thin coat pulled

Taught around your shivering shoulders.

You sat on the stump where my plump

Cheeks grew cold. You looked so old.

It was a strange place for a party, Josephine.